Favourite Quotes: Marcus Aurelius on how to live

Belief that one’s spirit lives on in a form which as yet, despite all the theories advanced and blood shed to date, no-one has ever established as definitive – makes life and its vicissitudes much easier to bear. Unfortunately, one cannot make oneself believe in anything, whether it be the existence of God or the infallibility of Professor Dawkins, to give but two  contemporary examples. Belief either arrives, or it doesn’t. Sometimes it arrives – then goes away again. One can go through long spells playing hide-and-seek with belief. So what to do, as life rolls on in its inevitable way?

Whilst trawling through some sites the other night, I came across some guiding wisdom from that wise, Stoical and only mildly cynical ancient Roman, Marcus Aurelius.

(26 April 121 – 17 March 180)

Marcus Aurelius in bronze: The Louvre, Paris


“Ah” I thought. ” Time to post a quote. I should share this prescription with my increasing band of readers, especially those who seem to love the Favourite Quotes theme on this site.”

Read, enjoy – and comment!

” Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid. “

Marcus Aurelius

found at


4 responses to “Favourite Quotes: Marcus Aurelius on how to live

  1. Thanks for the link. Words to live by, yes?

    And thanks for your great blog…..yes, I have a number of quotes from Marcus Aurelius, but not this one – so thank you too! Better health to you also. Anne.


  2. I often look to the great minds of the past to help cope with the travails of everyday life. What a fantastic quote.

    Thanks, Selma! When I was a college tutor I used to have a whole wall in my room full of favourite quotes for the students to read and apppreciate. We need all the help we can get as mere humans, don’t we?! Do drop by again. Anne


  3. I needed this.


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